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Niagara Falls
Friday, March 24, 2023
Letter: How much has town spent on legal battles over development?
Letter to the editor. File

Dear editor:

The ongoing debates over the Rand Estate, Parliament Oak, Mary Street apartment and St. Davids’ Tawny Ridge developments are but a few challenges facing our new council.

Accordingly, to what extent do we challenge and oppose these proposals and at what cost to the taxpayers?

In order for residents to evaluate such matters it should be incumbent (and in the spirit of transparency so often promised during the latest municipal elections) on our current council to publicly disclose the actual legal expenditures incurred fighting developers during the tenure of our previous council.

As a taxpayer I thought I had the right to know how my taxes were spent. I requested this information previously, without success. So much for transparency.

These costs to the taxpayer are discussed behind closed doors and to my knowledge have not been made public.

My sources tell me they run between $3 million and $4 million over the previous four-year term.

Our council should release the actual accounting of these legal costs in concert with a summary of the amount we expect to recover from any court rulings in our favour.

Then, and only then, can the public speak from explicit knowledge what future challenges may cost and the impact on their taxes.

We may all be shocked by the numbers and be gun-shy about proceeding in future with potential frivolous NIMBY challenges.

These must be judiciously avoided at all costs and will challenge our elected officials. Not all residents will be happy with the results.

Samuel Young

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